Xi Lights Holiday 2017


Holiday Message and Update – Mark Chinn
Treasurer’s Report – Patrick Higgins
House and Grounds Subcommittee Report – Chris Winter
Annual Fund Report – Mark Chinn
President’s Corner – Austin Simpson, Xi Chapter President
Alumni Corporation Board Contact Information 



Greetings and Happy Thanksgiving! It was great to see many of our alumni at our annual Homecomings tailgate last month. Over 100 of you, representing seven decades, turned out with your families on a spectacular sunny Saturday in Charlottesville. Although it was a disappointing day for the ‘Hoos football team, that was a minor hiccup in an otherwise fantastic weekend spent with friends and family.

I’m writing to you in my first Xi Lights since succeeding Rick Nadeau as president of your Alumni Corporation Board. Luckily for me and the rest of the board, Rick has another year remaining on his board term and I’m counting on his invaluable advice and guidance as I take on this role. Rick has been the very model of leadership as well as tremendously generous with his time, and we thank him for his commitment and energy to the Xi Chapter.

On the Sunday following Homecomings, Rick and I joined the Quent Alcorn Scholarship trustees and guests at their donor appreciation event at the Colonnade Club on the lawn. To date, the Scholarship has raised nearly $80,000 from 300 donors. You can see more about the Scholarship, and Quent’s life, on our website under Giving.

Following the Scholarship event, we met at the House for our annual meeting followed by our quarterly board meeting. During the board meeting we officially elected officers – joining me are Mark Williamson as Vice President, Will Teass as Corporate Secretary, and Patrick Higgins (re-elected) as Treasurer. Chris Winter was appointed Chairman of the House and Grounds Subcommittee. Aside from these officer changes, the board membership itself is stable this year, but five of our nine board members will reach the end of their terms over the next three years.

At the annual and board meetings, we outlined a number of priorities for the coming year. Below are some highlights of these initiatives – please visit our website at www.thetachiuva.com and future Xi Lights for additional details in 2018:

  • A celebration of “50 years at Preston Place” during Homecomings 2018 – we moved from Carr’s Hill to Preston Place in 1968
  • Our 5th annual Reunions Weekend BBQ will be held during the two reunions weekends next June
  • Capital improvements to the house, including window replacement, garage improvements, and replacing the main level floors (funds permitting)
  • Annual fund collections (more on this topic later in this letter)
  • Board recruiting to replace outgoing board members beginning next year
  • Updates to our website and our alumni email list
  • Plus, the routine but important business the board provides in the areas of financial operations, community / chapter / university relations, and house and grounds maintenance

We would love to hear from you – a listing of board members and our contact information is at the end of this letter and can always be accessed on our website. Please contact me or any of our board members with suggestions or feedback. Have a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday!

Mark Chinn (91)



The Alumni Corporation continues to serve as the landlord and steward of the house, supporting the chapter through house maintenance and improvement project. Recent activities on the financial front include our recent refinancing of the $394,000 mortgage and plans for upcoming events and improvement projects. While the rent we receive from the Chapter of $65,000 annually covers interest on our debt, real estate taxes, routine house maintenance, and insurance, we continue to rely upon the annual giving for both reducing the principal of our debt and for capital improvements to the property. If you ever have any questions about the finances of your alumni association corporation please feel free to contact me.

Patrick Higgins (10)



It should come as no surprise that we’re constantly performing maintenance and upgrades at 600 Preston Place. In the next few weeks, we will replace four windows on the main floor of the original portion of the house; these windows undergo a lot of use and were not replaced during the remodel. We’re limited in what style windows meet historic district standards so these will cost upwards of $1,000 each. Another project on the slightly longer term horizon is to repaint the main floor of the house and potentially some exterior trim, which we’re targeting to get done over the summer. We’ve also received estimates to replace the main level wood floor, which is original to the house, with wood-look tile. Currently, we’re weighing the benefits of added durability and increased aesthetics against the cost.

Outside of those larger scale projects; we’re always tackling more routine tasks to maintain the property. While we still rely on our partner, Piedmont Facilities Management, for more skilled tasks, the undergraduates and I are performing most of this work ourselves. Recently some of those tasks included preparing for the annual visits by the Charlottesville Building Inspector and the Fire Marshal. I’m pleased to say that both inspections resulted in only minor and easily correctable issues.

Our PFM representative has consistently told me we have one of the better, and better maintained, houses that he works with. Please help us continue this trend and keep us in mind when considering your annual giving gifts.

Chris Winter (07)



We are continuing our 5-year Annual Fund campaign (which begun in 2014) with support from our volunteer ‘calling captains’ and the generosity of our alumni. To date, over 150 alumni have pledged $150,000 to the campaign, with $105,000 already collected. In addition to projects already completed, such as replacement of our inline gutters earlier this year, the board has created a list of potential capital projects and we will continue to make improvements to the house and grounds through the end of the current campaign in 2018.

Looking ahead, we anticipate launching a new Annual Fund campaign as we celebrate 50 Years at Preston Place in 2018.

Thank you to all who have contributed so far. For information on how to contribute, please contact me or use this link 

Mark Chinn (91)



There has never been a better time to be a brother of Theta Chi. Thanks to the hard work and generous donations of over 70 years of alumni, the brotherhood has a beautiful house to call home. The renovation was completed in 2013 and includes three new bedrooms, two multipurpose rooms, and a remodeled porch. The brotherhood is incredibly grateful for this gift and takes great strides to preserve it for future generations. 

The brothers of our fraternity are involved with many other clubs and organizations around Grounds, including Madison House, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Club Baseball, Club Basketball, UVA Cheerleading, O-Records, Student Council, and many others. Academically, our fraternity consistently scores within the top third of all fraternities, which consistently scores higher than the overall average of UVA students. 

Our chapter’s philanthropy focuses on mental health, a cause which the entire brotherhood is devoted to. Over the past three semesters, our chapter has donated nearly $9,000 to On Our Own, a Charlottesville non-profit that provides free mental health treatment and services to Charlottesville residents. Additionally, our brothers volunteer with the Habitat for Humanity and the Madison House HELP Line. 

Following the death of chapter president Quentin Alcorn (16), alumni of our chapter established a scholarship in his name. The Quentin Alcorn Memorial Scholarship serves to recognize those at the University of Virginia who embody Quentin’s dedication, selfless service, love of learning, and his capacity for fun and humor, as well as ensuring his memory endures within the brotherhood and at the University. 

Last summer, our brotherhood faced another tragedy with the passing of our brother, Otto Warmbier (17). Since his passing those closest to him have been working with his family on how to best remember and honor him. We thank those who have donated to this cause, and assure you that as plans move forward the brotherhood will keep everyone updated. 

Our chapter has grown immensely in recent years. Our brothers have worked hard to build a fraternity that we are proud of, and we look to build upon that success in the next year as James Childress succeeds me as President in January 2018.

Austin Simpson (17)



Mark Chinn (91) – President, chinn6@gmail.com 

Mark Williamson (81) – Vice President, mwilliamson@mcguirewoods.com 

Will Teass (97) – Corporate Secretary, will@teass.com 

Patrick Higgins (10) – Treasurer, phiggins388@gmail.com 

Bill Sullivan (67) wbsuva@msn.com 

Mike Atwood (74) atwood.mike@verizon.net

Rick Nadeau (76) rjnadeau333@aol.com 

Spencer Phillips (85) spencerrp802@gmail.com 

Chris Winter (07) christopherwwinter@gmail.com